An electromyographic method for the assessment of naloxone-induced abstinence in morphine-dependent rats

M. Krishna Menon, Liang Fu Tseng, Horace H. Loh, William G. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The electromyographic (EMG) activities of suprahyoideal muscle were recorded to measure naloxone-precipitated abstinence signs in morphine-dependent rats anesthetized with urethane (1 g/kg). Rats were rendered dependent on morphine by implanting 2 morphine pellets (75 mg each) and abstinence signs were induced by intravenous injections of various doses of naloxone at different times after pellet implantation. Three precipitated abstinence signs, a) myoclonic twitch activity (MTA), b) mastication, and c) body shakes were observed on EMG recordings after the injection of naloxone. Of these symptoms, only the MTA induced by naloxone (10 μg/kg) occurred 4 h after pellet implantation and its sensitivity to naloxone increased with prolonged pellet implantation. Both mastication and precipitated shakes could be induced at 24 h. However, higher doses of naloxone were required to produce the shakes than is required to induce mastication. There appears to be a positive correlation between the intensity of naloxone-induced MTA and the degree of physical dependence on morphine. Since the MTA and mastication can be induced by low doses of naloxone in morphine-dependent rats, we suggest that these two parameters may be used to detect morphine abstinence signs in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Volume312
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1980

Keywords

  • "Wet-dog" shakes
  • Abstinence signs
  • Electromyograph
  • Mastication
  • Morphine
  • Myoclonic twitch activity
  • Naloxone

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